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UH MEN'S BASKETBALL


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3 sign on, but Barnes’ 3s are gone

By Brian McInnis

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:05 a.m. HST, Apr 16, 2011


For every arrival in college basketball, there is a departure.

Some of the latter are more unexpected — and gut-wrenching — than others.

Though the Hawaii men’s basketball team officially announced three spring signings yesterday, excitement was tempered by the unexpected loss of sharpshooter Bo Barnes, who decided to transfer out of the program after a promising freshman season.

In a UH release yesterday, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard cited a desire to play college basketball with his younger brother, at a school to be determined, closer to his family in Scottsdale, Ariz.

It’s still been an overall positive spring signing period for the Rainbow Warriors, who also announced yesterday the inking of dynamic junior college guard DeShawn Mitchell, versatile JUCO forward Hauns Brereton and athletic high school forward Dillon Biggs to go with two fall signees.

But you can snap out of that daydream of Barnes launching 3-pointers from anywhere within 30 feet for the next three years.

UH coach Gib Arnold called Barnes’ decision, brought up in a recent one-on-one season exit interview, a “total shock.”

“It was something that he and his family had been talking about for some time. But I enjoyed coaching Bo; Bo’s a good kid and he’s a good basketball player,” Arnold said. “It’s unfortunate to see him leave. I would have enjoyed coaching him throughout his career, but him and his family made the decision, and I’ll honor that. And we’ll move on from that.”

Barnes averaged 6.9 points, shot 38.8 percent on 3s and was one of just two Rainbows to play in all 32 games this season. He faded late in the season, but memorably brought UH fans to their feet with his back-to-back outings of 19 points and five 3-pointers in the first two games of the year and came up with several big shots afterward.

His all-around game wasn’t yet present — he had only nine 2-point field goals to go with his UH freshman-record 57 3s — but he saw considerable court time as a freshman at 23.3 minutes per game.

“This was a difficult decision,” Barnes said. “Being away from my family has been tough, and this decision allows me to be closer to them. I absolutely love Hawaii, the fans and especially my teammates. I want to thank Coach Arnold and the staff for giving me the opportunity to play here at UH. It was an honor to be a Rainbow Warrior.”

Though recruiting for the 2011-12 season is ongoing — underscored by the scholarship opening from Barnes’ departure — Arnold lauded the recent haul as an important step for the program going into his second year at UH.

Mitchell was the fourth-leading junior college scorer in the country before being dismissed from his Snow College team late in the season for a disagreement with his coach. Brereton was a JUCO third-team All-American and Biggs earned second-team All-City recognition in highly competitive Los Angeles.

“I think we got a lot more athletic. I think we got a great group of versatile players; all three of these guys can play the off-guard up to the 4,” Arnold said. “I like the idea of having interchangeable parts both offensively and defensively. All three of them can do that, so that lets you able do a lot more defensively. We were a little limited on that this year.”

The two remaining freshmen of Arnold’s first recruiting class, point guard Bobby Miles and small forward Trevor Wiseman, said this week they were committed to improving their games over the offseason and coming back stronger.

DESHAWN MITCHELL

» Height: 6-5
» Weight: 205
» Position: G
» Year to be: Jr.
» Prev. school: Snow College (Utah)
» Top stats: 23.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 51% FG

Gib Arnold on Mitchell:

I feel like I can work with (tough-minded) guys and together we can work things out. I wouldn’t have offered DeShawn a scholarship if I thought that wouldn’t be the case. I’m more than happy to give guys second chances and players the ability to redeem themselves. ... DeShawn was one of the most dynamic scorers in the entire country.”

HAUNS BRERETON

» Height: 6-7
» Weight: 205
» Position: F
» Year to be: Jr.
» Prev. school: Western Nebraska CC
» Top stats: 20.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 51% FG, 78% FT, 39% 3PT

Gib Arnold on Brereton:

I think he brings a great maturity to the team. You lose a guy like Bill (Amis), a guy like Hiram (Thompson), both older, mature players ... it’s nice to have Hauns, who is older. I think that’s going to really help us. I think he’s a kid who can come in and take a leadership role. ... He has a great inside-outside game.”

DILLON BIGGS

» Height: 6-7
» Weight: 195
» Position: F
» Year to be: Fr.
» Prev school: Dorsey High (Los Angeles)
» Top stats: 18.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.3 apg

Gib Arnold on Biggs:

Dillon may be the best athlete in California, if not the West, and one of the top athletes in the country. He’s a guy that can put his teeth on the rim. He’s long. Those guys, when they get a motor and when they get a work ethic, those guys eventually become special players. ... He’s a young kid (17), still got some growing to do, some maturing to do, but we’ll be more than happy to work with him and help him reach that potential.”






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